National Foods is set to reopen its flour mill in Bulawayo this Saturday, a move likely to boost the country’s milling capacity and generating employment.
Company officials yesterday said Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema would officially reopen the mill, which ceased operations in 2009.
“The reopening of the flour mill is intended to help the company cope with increased demand for flour that normally occurs at this time of the year, as people prepare for the festive season and start baking Christmas cakes,” said a company statement.
The Bulawayo mill is expected to complement the milling that already takes place in Harare, where the flour mill is operating at full capacity.
“The reopening of the flour mill follows the opening by National Foods of a rice packaging plant in Mutare and a depot in Beitbridge, reflecting the company’s confidence in the country and its future business prospects.”
Of late, National Foods — also involved in maize meal and rice packaging — has invested in improved packaging for some of its products.
“The confidence National Foods is demonstrating in the economy and its own prospects for business success, particularly at a time when some other companies are cutting back on their operations, seems to be generating investor confidence in the company itself.
“Recently, Tiger Brands bought an increased 11,7% stake in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed company, one of the most significant deals to take place on the local stock exchange this year.”
The reopening of the plant comes at a time when concerns are mounting over the relocation of companies from the city, once regarded as the country’s industrial hub.
The government has since set up a $40 milllion fund for distressed companies in a bid to reverse the tide.